Reviews

  • Reveals, gloriously, the companionship, intimacy, and insight that can come from obsession with the written word

    LA Review of Books
  • Literature, the clash of public and private, human nature itself-these subjects and more are explored with remarkable subtlety and rare, limpid mental beauty. A must-read for anyone trying to stay sane in a world that might be perceived as insane

    Mary Gaitskill, author of The Mare
  • Weaving sharp literary criticism with a perceptive narrative about her life as an immigrant in America

    The Millions
  • An intimate memoir of darkest despair... A potent journey of depression that effectively testifies to unbearable pain and the consolation of literature

    Kirkus
  • Quietly forceful, unrelenting... She unfolds an argument with the self, suspicious of the very concept , but not, ultimately, refuse its possibilities

    Eula Biss
  • Novelistic scenes, limpid prose, subtly moving emotion... Personal reminiscences [and] literary meditations... Li explores ruptures in time, the difficulty of writing autobiographical fiction, the pleasures of melodrama

    Publisher’s Weekly
  • Publisher's description. A luminous memoir from the award-winning author of The Vagrants and A Thousand Years of Good Prayers. Startlingly original and shining with quiet wisdom, this is the record of a life lived with books and a richly affirming examination of what makes any life worth living.

    Penguin
  • Beautiful and profound... This book is a terribly beautiful gift to the reader

    Neel Mukherjee, New Statesman
  • A remarkable account of literary life [from] an important and gifted writer... Her new book is a meditation on the fact that literature itself lives and gives life

    Marilynne Robinson
  • Extraordinary. A storyteller of the first order

    Junot Diaz